SIGS Graduate Story | Chen Yang: Believe in yourself and strive to excel


SIGS Graduate Story | Chen Yang: Believe in yourself and strive to excel 

"Don't seek to sail smoothly, but seek to ride the wind and waves," said Chen Yang from the Division of Information Science and Technology. 

Chen is one of the founders of the SIGS choir, and was actively involved in graduate student activities in her three years at Tsinghua SIGS. After graduation, she will be joining Tencent for a position in product planning and development.


Chen Yang, speaking as mentor at the LINK program

Stepping out of one’s comfort zone

"There are a lot of times in life when you have to give yourself a brave push,” Chen said. The LINK program, short for leadership, innovation, nation and knowledge, was one of the first activities Chen joined in the summer of 2017. The program brought her friendship, and also the courage to challenge herself in the next three years.

From participant to mentor of the LINK program, from performing on stage to being vice chairman of the Graduate Student Union, Chen actively participated in the organization of student orientation nights and annual singing competitions, dedicating her time to connecting and bringing students together.


Chen Yang (second from left) with fellow classmates

From performer to behind the scenes

Singing is not only a hobby for Chen Yang, but also a spiritual connection in many occasions. During her first semester, she founded the SIGS choir with some friends, and collaborated with the Peking University Shenzhen (PKUSZ) choir.

This March, the two choirs composed an original song “Spring Wishes” in response to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. As one of the founders of the choir, Chen took up the task of writing lyrics. The song was completed after multiple revisions, paying respect and support to those bravely serving on the front lines.

Choir singing brings joy to Chen, but her biggest gain was transitioning from performer to behind the scenes, and witnessing the choir evolve and grow in its own vitality.


Chen Yang was one of the founders of the SIGS choir (second row, fifth from right)

 Overcoming one’s fear

Like many others, Chen was unfamiliar with conducting scientific research at the beginning. Looking back, she believes that the biggest difficulty was in fact, her own fear.

"In research, I learned what it means by 'done is better than perfect' ,” Chen said. "Don’t expect the first version to be perfect. Instead, start small, complete it, and polish it afterwards. This will make seemingly impossible tasks easier to complete."

After graduation, Chen will be working in product planning and development. "Product planning gives me an opportunity to work with colleagues in various departments and achieve resource integration. It’s something that I look forward to,” Chen said. A background in electronic engineering gives Chen the acumen to examine the technical feasibility of a project, and she hopes to provide high quality and convenient experiences for users with these future products.

Advice for future graduates

"There were ups and downs in the past three years, but there were no regrets. All I have is gratitude.” Chen is beyond grateful for her tutors and fellow classmates, who have encouraged, inspired, and helped her grow along the way.

"Believe in yourself. If there is something you think you can't do, then maybe you haven't found a compelling reason for it yet. Find this reason and complete it. Don't seek to sail smoothly, but seek to ride the wind and waves."

Photos provided by interviewee

Banner design by Zhang Junyi, supervised by Wen Xueyuan

Edited by Karen Lee